FRV Services Australia (FRV) has been granted development approval by the NSW Independent Planning Commission (IPC) for the 300 MW AC Walla Walla solar farm, the company’s fourth solar development project in NSW.
The project, which will introduce an additional source of renewable energy and supply up to 90,000 NSW homes and businesses, was considered by the IPC as part of the State Significant Development Approval Scheme.
The Walla Walla Solar Farm is the first large-scale solar farm to be approved following the passage of the NSW Government’s ‘Renewable Infrastructure Roadmap’–a proposal to promote up to $32 billion in private investment in clean energy–on Wednesday.
In awarding the project a Development Approval, the IPC acknowledged earlier advice provided by the NSW Department Planning, Industry and Environment that Walla Walla solar farm ‘would stimulate economic investment in renewable energy and provide flow-on benefits to the local community, through job creation, capital investment and substantial contributions to Council for community enhancement projects’.
The Walla Walla solar farm project will improve the local economy by creating about 250 construction jobs and growing investment in local services such as fencing, civil works, land management, hospitality and housing. The projected capital value of the project-$400 million-is 2.5 times higher than the current annual construction production of the Riverina area.
“Walla Walla Solar Farm is a State Significant project by definition and we are very pleased we will now be able to proceed to private financing and construction given its potential to help NSW deliver quality new renewable energy infrastructure and transition away from fossil fuels.”managing director of FRV Australia, Carlo Frigerio.
Involvement of neighbours and the wider community has been key during the planning of the project. Design and layout of the solar farm has been in strict accordance with local planning laws and has specifically aimed to protect the amenity of nearby residents.
“We have worked exceptionally hard to ensure plans for Walla Walla Solar Farm reflect a balanced and considerate design that will provide a strategically important new source of clean energy for NSW while protecting the amenity of nearby residents.”head of project development of FRV Australia, Tarek Al Sampaile.
Development of the Walla Walla solar farm will now progress to its final phases before construction can start.